The Weight Cutting Chronicles: UFC 257 — From Featherweight to Lightweight

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Conor McGregor, UFC 246
Conor McGregor, UFC 246 Ceremonial Weigh-In Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Conor “The Notorious” McGregor (22-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC)

Featherweight (145lbs): 7-0 (UFC), Former UFC FW Champion

Lightweight (155lbs): 1-1 (UFC), Former UFC LW Champion

Welterweight (170lbs): 2-1 (UFC)

We are now over five years removed from the Irish man’s historic run in the UFC’s featherweight division and it still seems almost too good to be true. Conor McGregor’s climb to the title within the featherweight division was absolutely flawless. And seemingly equally as memorable was McGregor’s tough weight cut down to 145lbs, which looked extra scary thanks to bone and facial structure.

After a career outside the UFC with the Cage Warriors promotion in which he won both the Lightweight and Featherwieght belts, McGregor made an instant splash in the UFC. Seven fights at featherweight in the UFC, and six finishes, the only man that Conor did not finish at featherweight within the UFC was a 21 year old, Max Holloway.  Conor was mushing fighters, and his power while down at featherweight combined with his accuracy was absolutely lethal.

After a series of unfortunate (or depending on how you look at it, fortunate) events, Conor was forced to fight Nate Diaz and suffered his first loss in six years. This fight took place at 170lbs, and Conor weighed in at 168lbs. Effectively confirming that, around 170lbs is his weight while ‘in camp’ at the time (confirming a 25-30lb dramatic weight cut to featherweight). After coming back and narrowly beating out Diaz in a rematch (again weighing in at 168lbs) Conor got the opportunity to fight Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title, to become the UFC’s first ever double champion. McGregor made quick work of Eddie, looking practically flawless and showed off his precision (as opposed to his power at featherweight) in the lightweight division.

Fast forward a little bit to 2018, when Conor lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title. McGregor looked good in the fight, with improved cardio even throughout wrestling scrambles,  but was ultimately dominated and finished.

Conor’s most recent fight, at the start of 2020 was a welterweight bout against Donald Cerrone where he finished “Cowboy” in 40 seconds. Not only did Conor look great, but it was evident that he had picked up a little more lean muscle mass on his frame.

Earlier this year Conor’s nutritionist of two years, Tristin Kennedy, told ESPN that though he wouldn’t like to see a return to the featherweight division from a personal point of view. Tristin defentily thinks that it would be “achievable” feat from Conor.

Personally, I highly doubt we will see this, but its an interesting take from one of the folks that knows Conor, his body and his capabilities very well. At 5’9″ and with a 74″ reach Conor is virtually identical to Poirier though he carries a little less muscle mass. The biggest thing I’ll be looking for in Conor’s rematch with Poirier is, just how easily will Conor’s shots be able to hurt and finish Poirier at this weight? Will Conor be able to put away a more durable Poirier?

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